Toxicology and Societies Speaker Series - Marissa Smith
A Regulatory Approach to Safer Products for the State of Washington
Many consumer products and packages that we use in our daily lives contain toxic chemicals. Once hazardous chemicals are in consumer products, reducing exposure is challenging. It’s hard to predict how people will use consumer products and what they’ll do with them when they’re done. Contamination from hazardous chemicals in consumer products can transfer risks from consumers to communities, wildlife and environmental resources. The traditional single chemical-product risk assessment approach struggles to manage the impacts of cumulative exposures to chemicals from consumer products, and does not capture the non-point source pollution that can be released into the environment during their use and disposal. In Washington state, we’re taking a different approach to understanding and addressing toxic chemicals in consumer products. In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed the Pollution Prevention for Healthy People and Puget Sound Act. The Department of Ecology developed the Safer Products for Washington Program to implement this law. Instead of conducting single chemical-product risk assessments, Safer Products for Washington focuses on reducing the use of classes of hazardous chemicals by moving to safer alternatives. This gives us the opportunity to reduce the impacts of hazardous chemicals across the product lifecycle—from manufacturing to disposal or reuse—and focus our efforts on pollution prevention instead of costly clean-ups. This presentation will:
- Overview of this philosophy of reducing hazardous chemicals in consumer products.
- Share an update on the Safer Products for Washington Program.
- Invite you to join future webinars on safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in consumer products.
About the Speaker: Dr. Marissa Smith, Washington State Department of Ecology
Marissa Smith is a native Washingtonian. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from University of Washington in 2012 and 2019, respectively. While at the University of Washington her research focused on the interface between oceans and human health, the impact and variability in children’s exposures to environmental chemicals, developing decision tools for predictive toxicology models. She is currently a senior regulatory toxicologist at the Washington State Department of Ecology primarily working on the implementation of the Safer Products for Washington Program.